In Aldous Huxley’s Point Counter Point (1928) a character attempts to use Beethoven’s String Quartet no. 15, Opus 132 as a scientific proof of God’s existence. Characters huddle around a gramophone and imagine heaven itself in the elongated notes simultaneously “hanging” and “floating” in and out of time: “Long notes, a chord repeated, protracted, bright and pure, hanging, floating, effortlessly soaring on and on” the narrator tells us.
Hearing the Elias Quartet perform this last night (I previewed it at Houstonia), I finally understood why Huxley was obsessed enough with this work to use it as an analogy for God’s existence in his novel. A stunning performance.